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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Some would call him a paladin, he calls himself an ordinary man. Some would call him a martyr, others, an abomination. Those who know him simply refer to him as “ol’ Bill”. If someone were to ask them when he came to the village of Shepherd’s Retreat, they would not have an answer, only that he had been there for as long as anyone can remember. If one were to ask them of his last name, they would not remember, he’s just Bill, good ol’ Bill. Perhaps even he does not know the answers to these questions by now, but it scarcely seems to matter any more. he has always been there, always will be. Indeed, for the inhabitants of Shepherd’s Retreat, the village without Bill would be almost unthinkable. Since when the grandparents of those living in the village were but children, Bill had been there, there to help the village in whatever way he could. From defending from bandits, to finding a stray sheep in a snowstorm, to tending to the sick and injured, whatever the task, old bill was always there to help.

    And then, one day, he wasn’t.

    Aging is something that comes to everyone, death doubly so. After what seemed like an eternity, Bill’s presence was nowhere to be found in Shepherd’s Retreat. The villagers were at a loss what to do without him. Some wept, some simply sighed and shook their heads, a few accepted his death and moved on, after all, he was an old man, wasn’t he? All, however, mourned his death. his funeral was a sight to see, as every villager in Shepherd’s retreat and the surrounding areas attended, mourning the death of the kind man that was Bill, yet not one member of the church of the Shining One appeared, as though they had forgotten about him entirely. Those who knew him begged him to return, but the body of the man that was once Bill held no life within it.

    Meanwhile, Bill had arrived in Celestia, in the realm of the Shining One. Though he was saddened by being forced to leave Shepherd’s Retreat, he was content in the knowledge that he had done what he could. his duty was done, there was nothing more to do, and now he would spend eternity in the service of the Shining One. But Bill was a wiser man than most, and in time, he saw the village suffer from the lack of his presence. Those still living in Shepherd’s Retreat needed a new guardian, yet none would come to such a place. Across the years, Bill had been the only one who had come to help, and indeed, it seemed as though he was the only paladin who would ever visit the tiny village.

    Days after this revelation, Bill marched into the heart of Celestia, demanding a direct audience with the Shining One. When his request was not met, the Archons before the gates were shoved roughly aside as Bill stormed away to meet his god. Several days after, Bill had returned, smiling happily. It later became apparent that the Shining one had been kindly persuaded to give Bill permission to return to life to protect the people of Shepherd’s Retreat once more, though the exact words used to persuade the god were
    “If you don’t let me back down there this minute, I am going to call your good friend Olidamarra over here, and I’ll remind him to bring the Satyrs along, got it?”. Whatever the method of his kind, understanding and reasonable persuasion, Bill rose from the grave several days later as a Deathless, returned to life by what could only be described as a miracle.

    The villagers were indeed, as he expected, shocked to see him, but they held no fear of his new form, understanding almost instantly that however he may look, this was still old Bill. They welcomed him back into Shepherd’s Retreat, and every villager rejoiced over his return for days on end. Ten years later, Bill still resides in the sleepy little village of Shepherd’s Retreat, “doing the job that’s put in front of me”. Even today, he walks the grasslands around the village, guiding the sheep along the rolling pastures.


    Yes, he's undead (deathless, technically). Yes, he's still LG. Yes, he's still a paladin. No, he isn't going to spontaneously blackguard. In light of that, what say you, playground boards? Any good?

    Oh, and he's been put to use since as a 12th level character (paladin 9 + LA 3 for death knight)

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    I find it kind of weird to use modern-sounding abbreviated names in a fantasy campaign.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    I don't understand how exactly this guy became a lvl 9 paladin by simply hanging around in a small village.. Plus I always saw Paladins as crusaders of their faith, while this guy appears to be nothing more than a good willing farmer. And he even threatens his diety.

    And I agree that the name sounds kinda wierd.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    The name makes sense, when the normans conquered England in the 10th century the inhabitants that spoke old english had a real passion for nicknames and abbreviations, which is understadable given some of the formal ones they were saddled with. It makes sense for them to abbreviate the names of their new french lords, so high status Williams have been called Bill or some derivitive throughout the period of history DnD is trying to emulate.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    I don't mind the idea of a Deathless Paladin, but I don't think Death Knight is an apt template without reflavoring and changing some abilities (undead followers and abyssal blast, to name a couple).

    Since this is more of a backstory discussion, though, I think you might want to include how he became a lv 9 paladin. The townsfolk may simply remember that he's always been there, but doubtless he must have accomplished some great feats when he was younger.

    The idea of threatening one's god doesn't sit well with me. Lawful Good may make room for some of that, but this guy's basically threatening the source of all his power and ideals. Besides, exactly how does a new petitioner summon Olidammara into Celestia?

    Also, perhaps "Will" would be a more apt name?

    Anyway, the story doesn't really have any big flaws apart from the mysterious past and the god threatening.


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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    I kind of liked it. It showed where a paladin's priorities lie; beyond themselves, beyond their gods, is a desire to help people.

    I am a little curious about the Death Knight template. Maybe there's a template a little more appropriate than one that can shoot abyssal fire from its hands.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    It's not a nickname, it's his actual first name. he's a simple person, with a name to reflect it. After all, could you imagine him being called, say... sturm brightblade? (yes, I know, copied from dragonlance, I needed a quick example)

    Second, as for level 9, not all xp comes from combat, some could simply be from age, some from healing people, hell, some could be from his experience as a shepherd. Also, he has fought bandits off solo on occasion, as well as the occasional Bulette, Ankheg, or other threat.

    Not heroic enough? Yeah, I get that a lot. Let me give you a list...

    he, through sheer determination, found a purpose in a stationing that was, essentially, because someone high up didn't really like him. he found enough meaning in it that he was willing to, for the sake of helping them, go up to heironeous and argue with him, risking the fact that he could have his soul obliterated and turned into bite-sized chunks for it, all to get the right to sacrifice his afterlife in celestia in the interest of this village.

    he has also risked his life repeatedly to fight off bandits solo and the like, heals anyone in need to the point that disease/injury has become something that happens to Other People, and much more. If you can tell me none of that, especially the first bit, is not heroic and still keep a straight face, I'll post some of what he did since.

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I don't mind the idea of a Deathless Paladin, but I don't think Death Knight is an apt template without reflavoring and changing some abilities (undead followers and abyssal blast, to name a couple).

    Since this is more of a backstory discussion, though, I think you might want to include how he became a lv 9 paladin. The townsfolk may simply remember that he's always been there, but doubtless he must have accomplished some great feats when he was younger.

    The idea of threatening one's god doesn't sit well with me. Lawful Good may make room for some of that, but this guy's basically threatening the source of all his power and ideals. Besides, exactly how does a new petitioner summon Olidammara into Celestia?

    Also, perhaps "Will" would be a more apt name?

    Anyway, the story doesn't really have any big flaws apart from the mysterious past and the god threatening.
    It's not a mysterious past, just not terribly important, and he has been there for so long that no one remembers, himself included, to an extent.

    As for summoning Olidammara, that wasn't the plan. he would simply invite him over for a non-existant party, which Oli would more or less automatically create. he was willing to risk everything and semi-threaten heironeous to accomplish his goal, because it was that important to him. In the end, he granted the request because he saw that, and knew that it was for a good cause, not because he was joke-threatened.

    As for Will, why that in particular?

    Death knight has been reflavored to... well, you saw. I also removed the mount and undead followers, and swapped out abyssal blast for the exact same ability, but holier, and named celestial blast.

    See my last post for how he became level 9.

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    At level 9, I think his legendary status would extend beyond a simple village. I can accept Bill as the 'go to' man when there were problems. He may have been effectively the judge (or rather arbiter) for Shepherd's Retreat and the surrounding areas.

    As you put it, Bill considers himself an ordinary man, apparently just trying to help out. The shear will to defy death seems a bit off, in that aspect. I suggest, instead, that it was the collective will of the people to keep him around despite his passing. He could even be referred to as The Will of Shepherd's Retreat... or Shepherd's Will. This is a bit like Alan Quartermain from LXG.

    There is a very big drawback. Bill couldn't really leave the area, as he is bound to the Land and the People.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by cog_n_taz View Post
    It's not a mysterious past, just not terribly important, and he has been there for so long that no one remembers, himself included, to an extent.

    As for summoning Olidammara, that wasn't the plan. he would simply invite him over for a non-existant party, which Oli would more or less automatically create. he was willing to risk everything and semi-threaten heironeous to accomplish his goal, because it was that important to him. In the end, he granted the request because he saw that, and knew that it was for a good cause, not because he was joke-threatened.

    As for Will, why that in particular?

    Death knight has been reflavored to... well, you saw. I also removed the mount and undead followers, and swapped out abyssal blast for the exact same ability, but holier, and named celestial blast.

    See my last post for how he became level 9.
    I suggested Will because I thought Bill was a nickname, and that Will is less colloquial-sounding.

    As for the Olidammara thing, that clears things up.

    Celestial blast works, I guess.

    I have to disagree on experience coming from age and simply living life as a regular part of the town, healing notwithstanding. In that case he'd be advancing as a Commoner and not as a Paladin. I'd say experience in a PC class comes from exploits that are above and beyond those of a common villager, and thus he'd have to be quite heroic to reach Lv 9. Now if he regularly defends the village against orc raids and attacks from rather malevolent fey and magical beasts and leads the town militia, that would be another story.


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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Joe View Post
    At level 9, I think his legendary status would extend beyond a simple village. I can accept Bill as the 'go to' man when there were problems. He may have been effectively the judge (or rather arbiter) for Shepherd's Retreat and the surrounding areas.

    As you put it, Bill considers himself an ordinary man, apparently just trying to help out. The shear will to defy death seems a bit off, in that aspect. I suggest, instead, that it was the collective will of the people to keep him around despite his passing. He could even be referred to as The Will of Shepherd's Retreat... or Shepherd's Will. This is a bit like Alan Quartermain from LXG.

    There is a very big drawback. Bill couldn't really leave the area, as he is bound to the Land and the People.
    Never heard of Alan, sorry. Also, he's humble, and considers himself just another guy in Shepherd's Retreat, albeit with slightly more capabilities than most there. As for judge... well, if it's important, he will have his say on the matter, and no one argues with him, but he's neither pushy nor a judge.

    At level 9, he would be legendary if he ever left the place, but he's constantly under a hat of disguise outside the village, hardly ever leaves, is awfully humble, and so on, which tends to mess with his fame somewhat.

    The collective will idea is interesting - I probably won't use it, but it's interesting, all the same, thanks.

    As for the drawback... he's not actually "bound" as such, he just stays because that's why he's there. If there's a threat to the village that is best dealt with by him leaving the village to sort said problem out, he will do so and come back ASAP, so that could be the excuse for his being out on an adventure.

    AC- you have your views on XP, I have mine, best to leave it at that . he does fight stuff sometimes, of varying levels of strength and power, but not frequently, and he always tries to use nonlethal damage first, even risking himself for the purpose, and his first resort is always diplomacy, if it's applicable.

    As for nicknames, the kids in the village call him "uncle Bill", despite his obviously being a death knight. It's wrong, I know, but the mental image was too good to pass up .

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Reading your background I was thinking he would return as a Risen Martyr. A friend of mine described the PrC to me and I think he said it was from Book of Exhalted Deeds?
    "Sir, we're caught in the moon's gravitational pull! What do we do?!"
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    "We die."

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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    Is this going to be a player character? I'm thinking it's going to be rather boring hanging around the old village while the rest of the party goes out and do adventuring stuff...

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    Default Re: Rate my backstory#2 - Bill the paladin

    ****** eyebrow*

    You know, you people really should -read- some of your books sometimes. If a Wizard can hit epic without ever leaving his tower, I'm sure Bill can hit level friggin' nine without leaving his village, especially if he's soloing BULETTES.

    Second, Bill's actions towards Heironious were in the service of what he thought was his greater duty - therefore PERFECTLY IN LINE WITH HIS ALIGNMENT. And the Lord of Might respects duty before all other obligations - even religion.

    Third, Bill could have and likely did pick up some of his levels post-transformation, for what that's worth.

    Reputation is a matter of what the DM and the player work out, not level. I don't care if you're level 98764571967578 x 10^165, if you've never left Anyplace, Thay then nobody knows about you.

    Risen Martyrs don't fit with Bill's story.

    Geez, think outside the box, people. If you want a, "How is that person still a paladin?" story, talk to me about Jaden sometime.

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